On June 29, 2018, Christopher Bunch received the Gardasil vaccine
at a routine doctor's visit.
Within two and half weeks, he started complaining of a sore throat, and by July 31, he was complaining about a terrible sore throat and headache. (Sore throats and headaches are listed on the Gardasil 9 vaccine insert at common adverse effects.)
On August 1, his mother, Destiny, took him to express care where he tested negative for strep throat. He was sent home with instructions to treat the symptoms.
The week of August 6, Christopher started football practice. After practice, he showered and slept until the following afternoon when it was time for practice again. Thinking that Christopher was dehydrated from practice and the heat, he was encouraged to eat and drink. After dinner, he went back to sleep.
On August 8, after several attempts to wake Christopher, his mother decided he needed to see a doctor and headed to Trinity Medical Center. On the way to the hospital, Christopher was disoriented and said he felt very confused.
Christopher was checked into the emergency room, and blood work was ordered quickly. From there, his health rapidly deteriorated. He was piercing his lips together and fidgeting with his fingers
trying to take off his oxygen monitor. He wasn't really speaking but would nod and give a thumbs
up. His blood work came back and it showed that he had an elevated white blood cell count. Since there were no other signs of bacterial or viral infection or illness, Christopher was sent to Iowa City Children's Hospital for further testing.
When Christopher arrived at Iowa City Children's Hospital, they immediately ordered more blood work, a CT Scan, an MRI, and a spinal tap. The tests revealed that Christopher's brain was swelling and that he had lesions on his brain. Destiny and the doctors went over his last couple of months in detail to try and pinpoint the reason for swelling and lesions. The only thing that was different was that he had received the Gardasil vaccine.
On Friday, August 10, Christopher was moved to the PICU as he needed more observation and medical attention. His neurologist explained that they were diagnosing him with Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and, given his medical history, he was "100% sure that the HPV vaccination caused the ADEM for Christopher… "
By Saturday, August 11, Christopher 's health became even more unstable and he stopped breathing on his own. His doctors told his family that they were unsure what the quality of his life would be if he recovered given the level of brain damage that had occurred from the massive amount of brain swelling.
On August 12, the doctors decided that in order to give Christopher the best chance of survival, they had to remove a portion of his skull to relieve the pressure caused by the swelling. His family was told that they would have to wait for two days to see if he had brain function.
On Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 11 AM, doctors tested Christopher to see the level of activity in his brain. At 11:20 AM, Destiny, and his father, Elijah, were given the news that their precious baby boy was brain dead. Destiny and Elijah made a decision that no parent should ever have to make. They decided to unhook their son from life support.
Christopher Eugene Bunch passed on August 14, 2018 at 1:02 PM.